Wednesday, April 27, 2011

To Sleep at Last

I will admit it, our kids had horrible to sleep habits until now.

Before we moved, the kids went to bed with little issue. We always had a nice routine...bath time, book time, prayers, night night. Period.

Then we moved...into a small apartment on blow up beds. And, that all changed. Routine? Um, we were in very close quarters. The girls were in the same room, Asher was in a room where he could see us. The girls played at all hours while Asher usually ended up sleeping with us.

We moved and then their was the new house to get used to. Bad habits just got worse. That is...until Sunday.

After over a year and a half of trying to get the kids to stay in bed...I stuck it out and I believe fixed them!

Sunday night I decided that this was the week that I would listen to Super Nanny. I saved baskets of laundry up in our bedroom. Then, I would put the laundry away as I waited for the kids to stay in their rooms and fall to sleep. Sunday was a little challenging as the kids got used to Mommy's new way (Daddy usually heads to the basement after good night kisses). Monday, I cleaned the upstairs bathrooms while I waited for the kids to fall to sleep. Tuesday, I put away more laundry and scrubbed the bathroom floor while I only had to remind the kids once to go to bed. By 8:30, the kids were asleep. That brings me to tonight. 5 minutes is all I had to wait for the kids to fall to sleep! Seriously! No running to each others rooms, no playing, no stair work out for Mommy as I ran up and down the stairs.
Is it too early to say they are fixed? Oh...the feeling of parenting success, if only by the direction of the Super Nanny.

Asher, asleep holding the tag of his PJs!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

What's Up?

It has been a while since I posted a "What's Up" kind of update. So, here it is. I am finally getting around to it.

We will start with Chris. After being in overtime mode since January, putting in upwards of 12 hours per day, he is finally getting back to somewhat of a normal schedule. How nice! He now has energy to work out a little, play a little, and socialize with us a little. Yeah! Now, if he would just get some energy of his honey do list (ha ha, of course). He is working on a web design side job and helping my Dad build his airplane in his "free time." Here are a couple pictures of the airplane project underway.
The wing of the plane.
Karate Daddy?

Alivia, oh Alivia. She is 6 1/2 going on 13. She is turning into a little diva. Alivia, who is in her last month of first grade, has developed a will and a strong one at that. She can be quite snotty at times, but Chris and I are trying to nip that behavior in the bud before it blossoms much further. Ugh. And, if she gets tired, watch out! On a positive note, she is helpful at making her bed and organizing her room her way. She helps select her clothes in the morning and likes clothes and going clothes shopping, for herself of course. Her favorite stores are Justice and The Gap. She likes reading chapter books and playing with her many friends that seem to be invited over all the time. She loves having her friends over to play. So, it is rare that we only have 3 kiddos here. Alivia is still a very picky eater, but it is starting to bother her. She will eat fruits, some veges and pb n j. Seriously, there is not much else she will eat. I wonder where she gets that from?

Next is Addison. Addison is finishing up her last couple weeks of preschool. Addison loves preschool and has excelled. Take it from me, kids learn just as much in 2 days that they do in 3, if not more! Addison has learned so much and seems way more prepared for kindergarten than even Alivia was. With that said, I am still not ready for her to go to school. But, Addison wants to go where Alivia is she will be going all day. I will be sad to see that day come. Anyway, Addison is left handed, points with her middle finger (which is interesting if done during Mass), and tends to write her name backwards a lot. Okay, she writes almost all of her writing backwards if I do not remind her which side of the paper to start on. She is working on that and is patient with herself. She seems to like learning. Addison, too, likes to go on playdates with her friends. I think she feels left out when Alivia has friends over all the time. Addison is the tall one of the group already moving into some size 5 clothes! Tall? Where did she get that from? Seriously...we don't know! In Addison's free time she is found in her room playing with her babies. And, when Addison gets tired, she will just sneak off, put on her PJs, and crawl into bed.

Asher is our short one. He is still in 24month and working into his size 2 clothes at nearly 3 1/2 years old! He is a great little eater and could really eat all day if I allowed him to. I just recently took away his AM breakfast as he would work on it all morning. He now has to eat it during breakfast or that is it until lunch. It has helped him eat better at lunch, that is for sure. Asher is a little picky, but likes the healthy things mixed in with the brownies. He has a big sweet tooth! He likes to talk, usually a little loud, and does not say the F sound. For example, Floor is said "loor" and Friday is said "Iday" and fruit is said "Uit" Most people do not understand him. I try to correct him unless he is saying, "Daddy arted" real loud in public, then I just let that go. Asher will not be going to preschool next year. I believe one year is good enough when I can get him started academically and socially from home. In Asher's free time he likes to play with his trucks, play outside, play with the tag in any shirt of in his pants, and play with his sisters. Oh, and he loves movie time and mommy time.

And that leaves me. I am doing nothing. Ha! Actually, I keep quite busy surprisingly. I still work PRN at UNMC in psych and find that quite challenging in many ways: the patients and two the lack of sleep from working nights. Chris says I need to quit and just stay home. Oh...I am so tempted. On Tuesdays I watch my friend's little girl who is 4 years old while her normal caregiver is out of town. Addison and Asher love her coming to play once a week. She is a sweet girl, too. Other than that I keep busy doing laundry, keeping the house clean, keeping up with our kids, and now starting to mow the lawn (ugh). Funny, I would rather do all those things staying home with my kids than go to work. So...I think I will stick with this job for a while. In my free time, I still run like a crazy person and take a pictures a day for my ongoing 365 project (which is totally a blast to do!). Oh, Chris is amazing.

And so, that is what's up - in a big long story.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Happy Easter 2011

Happy Easter!

Our Easter began quite early getting ready for 7:30 Mass. There were the curlers, hair glaze (for Asher) and of course, the sneak peek at the Easter baskets. Then, it was off to Mass.

The Mass was packed, as expected, with a wonderful Homily of Easter. I always love Easter Mass.

Once at home, it was time for the Easter Egg hunt. Every year the kids get a little older and take to the egg hunt a little differently. Asher, still slow, but he got so excited when he saw his blue eggs. Addison, she ran all over so excited to look for the purple eggs the Easter Bunny left for her in our backyard. Alivia...oh dear Alivia. She immediately was mad because she did not see as many pink eggs as she saw blue or purple ones (although we gave each of the kids the same amount). She did find all of hers, questioning if I was sure the Easter Bunny hid them...although I never really answered her.

Once inside, Asher opened his eggs dividing the candy into piles - his like pile and he "yucky" pile. Addison excitingly opened her eggs, thrilled to see money in some of them. Alivia, well, she was mad because she did not get the same candy and could not find her dollar bills quick enough. Seriously, there was a lot of drama.

It was soon time to pick up Grandma Marci and head to my parents on the farm. Dinner was fabulous (but filled with more drama from Alivia. Not sure what the deal was. Could she be THAT tired?). The kids played outside on this beautiful Easter that just kept getting better. The kids had another egg hunt, again divided by color. The kids acted much the same way as they did at home (Alivia was still mad about everything). It was a fun hunt. There are so many places to hide the eggs on the farm! And, Grandma and Grandpa have such good candy (The Austin Easter Bunny kept eating the candy before it got into the eggs!).

The kids had a little hunt for the goodie bag from Grandma and Grandpa (Alivia's in the shower, Addison's in the crib, and Asher in the dryer. It was cute to see them figure out where their bag was).

It was a fun day. I believe our kids, mostly Alivia, were exhausted. They all said the had a good Easter at bedtime, and that is all that is important. And, again, it was wonderful to celebrate the resurrection of our Lord with family.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Hop to It

Friday was yet another gloomy day. We stayed in during the morning, watching a little Netflix. Then, we loaded up to go and pick up our Easter Cards (better late than never, right?).

It was then time for lunch. We tried out Five Guys by the Walmart in Papillion. It was actually really good. The grilled cheese the girls got was really yummy, and Asher's little cheeseburger was anything but little. Their fries were fresh cut and really good. The restaurant has peanuts to tide you over until your meal is ready, which the kids liked. The meal is called when ready and served in a brown bag. It is a small place, but I would recommend it.

It was then time for a nap for Addison and Asher. I cut their nap short to head to the movies where we saw Hop. It was a really cute movie. Asher even said that it was a good movie when it was over. But, movies are so expensive ($32 for just the movie passes for the 5 of us, not including the popcorn, pop and cotton candy!), that we will keep this outing as a treat. The kids really liked it, and that is all that is important.

We ended the day playing outside with the neighbors after having our Friday night Pizza night. It was another fun filled day.

Alivia with the giggles.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Springing into Action

What to do today? It was cold, a little rainy, and completely not spring like.

We lined up a little play date with friends at Bounce U. We arrived right at 10 to find the place packed. Gees...looks like somebody else had the same idea. I asked if they were near capacity as we had friends coming. They looked at me like I was crazy, "Um, no!"

Funny, 20 minutes later Laura, Leah and Emma arrived to find out that Bounce U was at capacity.

Seriously? That is child cruelty.

Since we had already checked in and paid...we really could not leave. So, we stayed after saying good bye to our friends. It took some convincing to get Alivia to jump...but she quickly got her groove on.

It was a fun morning of jumping, bouncing and running. Two hours later, they were ready for lunch and a nap. Oh, and so was I!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Another Day = More Fun

Today I had one goal in mind, take a picture of the kids at the park for Easter Greeting Cards.

Some days I just do not achieve my goals. Okay...most days.

We got up, curled the girls' hair, and got the kiddos dressed. We arrived at the park and BRRR! Where is spring temperatures anyway?

The kids rushed through the pictures so they could get back in the car.

Since the kids were dressed anyway, we visited the Easter Bunny. I am not totally into the Bunny. Afterall, Easter is not about the bunny. But, the kids love egg hunts and the surprise on Easter morning of candy and treats. So, I can not just skip it.

It was cute to see their reactions at the bunny too. Afterwards, Alivia requested to go home and play. So...that is what they did for the rest of the day.

Humm...what will we do tomorrow?

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

What is this?

This morning we were awakened with the rain in the wee hours of the morning. Then came what sounded like hail with a lot of wind (noisy wind). Asher quickly joined Chris and I in bed (and I later found Addison in bed with Alivia).

Did I get up? Um, no...I was tired!

So, imagine my surprise when I woke up to piles of white stuff all over. What is this stuff?

I believe it is a nice collection of hail. Nice. These pictures were taken 3 hours or more after the storm...and we still have nice piles.

At least it is not snow, I guess.

Happy spring.

Spring Break...Day 2

Yesterday was the beginning of Alivia's spring break from school. However, Addison is still in school...which complicates things a bit.

Sunday night the kids spent the night at Grandma Kathy and Grandpa Bob's house. Although a little hesitant at first, it sounds like the all had fun. So, yesterday afternoon was spent watching movies and just chilling since they all seemed a little tired without naps.

So, what to do today? After taking Addison to preschool, Alivia, Asher and I met friends at the Omaha Children's Museum. We arrived for member's hour and let the kids decide what to do. They made interesting art, played out a short play, played in the play room before moving to the ball room. It became quite busy as it was time for us to go. And, lucky for me, we arrived to pick up Addison right on time.

What a fun morning! We can't wait to see what else we will do during spring break.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

My Turn

All winter I have been bragging about my nurse immunity, how I rarely get sick.

Well, now it is my turn.

Sunday night after some friends left, I came inside the house and just did not feel right. Within minutes, I was couch bound. Within an hour, I had intense nausea causing me to go to bed and have Chris put the kids to bed (I am sure this annoyed him).

Next came the vomiting. Sorry, there is no pretty way to say it. It was the all night kind of stuff, with chills, sleeping on the cold, tile bathroom floor, fun stuff.

At 5 am as I weakly ran to the bathroom again, I told Chris, "PLEASE call in sick today for me!"

I just could not imagine getting up out of bed, getting Alivia ready for school, and taking care of Addison and Asher all day when I could not even see straight.

Chris called in. What a man!

Monday I did absolutely nothing, in bed. I ate Texas toast and some dry cereal and that was about it. The vomiting stopped, but the nausea had not.

Tuesday I felt better. Still somewhat nauseated, but better. I tried eating pears at lunch, the only real thing that sounded good. That went okay. By dinner, I thought I would dry some dry pasta and garlic bread.  That did not go over so good.

I was awake at 4 am with abdominal pain again.

Then, came phase 2...bathroom trips for the other reason. Nice. Alivia had it a little, Asher a little, me a lot. Come on already?! Is this payback for something?

I had stuff to take the kids to feed the ducks that flew away, mow the lawn, ya know, that kind of stuff. I somehow got through the day on more pears and saltines. By bedtime, I was a mess again, all nauseated.

Today, I feel a little better again. I was still a little sick in the morning, but by lunch noodle soup sounded good. I was only a little nauseated after eating it. So, that is progress.

Funny thing is...I feel preggers. However, I know for certainty I am not. That came as a big relief to Chris, who would like to retire someday, preferably without kids at home before he is 80.

Now, I sit here, looking forward to feeling like my old self again.

Okay...maybe I would prefer to just feel like myself, and leave out the old part. Maybe that is my problem.

Update: As of today, Friday, I am much improved. I have eaten normally, finally, today, even having chocolate. It tasted that is a pretty good gauge. :)

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Alivia...Student of the Month!

Alivia was awarded the Student of the Month for the month of March in her first grade class.

The kids get awarded tickets when they do good deeds. Examples are being nice, outgoing, responsible, helpful...and then being seen doing these things. At the end of the month, the teacher picks a student (out of the hat kinda thing), and this month Alivia was selected.

She is well known as being quiet in the classroom, but gets her groove on during recess. But, she does try to be nice and helpful. She was so excited to be recognized...she was glowing!

We were all able to go to breakfast with Alivia at school today for a brief presentation for the Students of the Month...and then she was able to share lunch with the Principal. She had a lot to talk about at the end of today.

Congratulations, Alivia!

Monday, April 11, 2011

100 of 365

Yesterday marked 100 days into my photo 365 project. I have learned so much!

When I started, I thought I would just take a random picture a day. And, that is what I did. Then, I got into it. I try to be creative every day I have energy for it. Some days are better than others, obviously.

My goal: To be on the popular page! I am so far from it it is insane...but a girl has to have goals.

Here are some of my favorite images:

Schramm Park and Platte River State Park

Sunday fun day, right? Another semi nice day, but this time Daddy was home to enjoy it with us. So, off we went to Schramm Park. It is a beautiful park, but it does not seem to be kept up too well. We fed the many water foul before taking a long hike through the woods.We hiked for 2 hours! The kids were exhausted. Chris and I were tired from carrying them, too. But, we loved the scenery, the deer and the fresh air. After Asher got stuck in the mud (really!), we loaded up and headed to the Platte River State Park nearby.

Once at the Platte River State Park, we had a late lunch before climbing the viewing tower. What a view, and man, it is tall!

After 2 busy days without naps, we were all exhausted. Addison was found in bed asleep at 4!

Safari & Mahoney

What a beautiful day! While Daddy took a friend flying, the kids and I loaded up and headed to the safari.

We arrived right as they opened (9:30 AM). The kids seemed to remember it from our previous visits. It is still a sight to see, the animals in their element. We even made a friend, a baby antelope. She followed us in the van. I wanted to take her home she was so cute!

Next, we crossed the road to Mahoney State Park. The kids played at the playground, we watched the kite flowers, had a picnic under the warm 80 degree spring sun, played some more, before making our way home just before 3.

What a beautiful day!

Friday, April 08, 2011

Kindergarten Round Up

Today, Addison had Kindergarten Round Up at Bell. While Asher stayed home with Grandma Bet and Grandpa Bill, Addison got to see her Kindergarten classroom, meet some new friends, decorate cookies, color, write her name, and make a book. Chris and I were refreshed on what to expect that first year of school.

Tears welled up in my eyes as I thought about Addison going to all day Kindergarten. Is she ready? Am I? I have looked into St. Columbkille 1/2 day Kindergarten. I would enroll her in a minute if it was not so complicated. I mean, Alivia and Addison would be in 2 different schools on 2 different school year schedules. And, we would have to pull her out of St. Columbkille to join Alivia at Bell in 1st grade, or would we keep her in St. Columbkille? So many questions...

...for now, the questions will remained unanswered.

Asher and I will soak up our time with Addison while we can.